The story below is a midnight inspiration for an inside joke among no more than three people in 3D111. I’ve put too much effort into the writing and didn’t want to lose it, so here it is. If you don’t get it, don’t worry, just enjoy the narrative for itself. It all began with this video and youtube’s automatic subtitles, at the 1:03 mark.
It finally came to me, the explanation for the myth, and the reason we are not encouraged by the school to model real people:
So, in the past, VFS had this insanely good student. He always knew he’d go for modeling. He aced all modeling assignments in less than a few days. His only weakness, and what he wanted to work while at VFS was character modeling, to photorealistic levels.
Coming from the UK, his childhood was filled with U2 songs, so for his end of Term 2 pitch, he said he wanted to model the entire band, posed as if they were performing. He was adamant, and even though everyone said he wouldn’t have enough time for the task, he went ahead and started modeling the lead singer. He obsessed about quality, he wanted to do 4k renders and kept on pushing details into the model and textures, getting to the point of having geometry for skin pores on Vox’s face.
Term 4 went by, Term 5 was just a flicker. He was doing good work, yes, but not anywhere near the amount of things he had set out to do. By Mid Term 6’s Presentation, all he had was the upper chest and head of Bono Vox, real to the point that Bono’s mom wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a photograph of her son and a rendered image.
Instructors came down on him, but hey, he had done something amazing, so it wasn’t entirely a waste of time. Everyone hated the guy for monopolizing the render farm and classrooms. Feeling proud of his master piece, this innocent student sent a message to the guy who was his inspiration along the year, his reference, actually, being more specific, to his AGENT. No reply.
Finally, graduation came down and along with it, a huge lawsuit against the school for “stealing the looks of Mr. Vox”. The course administration was baffled, not able to understand how all that paperwork and lawyers got their timing so precise around the main event highlighting their student’s work.
It turns out that email the kid sent out included a high-res still render and an invitation for the Grad. Dates, addresses and names included.
Sorting stuff out on the fly, VFS decided to go through with graduation, but held back on that particular reel, which wasn’t projected with the others. Kagan was called up on the stage to get his diploma without actually presenting anything to the audience. His smile outshined all his classmates, though. No one understood his reasons until a few hours later.
It end’s up Bono Vox had come to Vancouver, in person, to meet this kid who apparently knew and idolized him so much. Kagan never showed his work before an audience, but he had the pleasure to present it to the one guy who mattered. For about twenty five minutes he rambled about the level of detail, textures, poly count, rigging and being production ready. Then the lawyers copied his files and deleted the originals. As his sole demand, Kagan requested a photograph with his idol, which was taken on site, the very studio we attended.
Hence, whenever someone is going for a risky move during school, something that might turn out great or a massive failure, they call it “Kagan’s Bono”. A gem never seen, but that everyone knows it exists. And if you don’t think any of this is true, try checking the only framed photograph on the Staff Area. Can you tell if it’s a render or a real photograph?